Lee: Amend­ment vi­tal to curb wildlife poach­ing

New Straits Times - - NEWS / NATION -

KUALA LUMPUR: An­i­mal rights ac­tivist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye has called on the gov­ern­ment to in­tro­duce a more strin­gent law to curb wildlife poach­ing.

Lee said poach­ers were us­ing cruel meth­ods to trap and cap­ture en­dan­gered an­i­mals, stressed that there was a need for the gov­ern­ment to amend the Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Act 2010.

He said the amend­ment should in­clude a manda­tory jail term not just for those who were found guilty, but for those who pos­sessed car­casses of wild an­i­mals.

“Al­though the Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Act, which was passed in 2010 to re­place the Wildlife Pro­tec­tion Act 1972, is tough on law break­ers, some quar­ters have claimed that it is not deterrent enough.

“It is learnt that the Wildlife and Na­tional Parks Depart­ment (Per­hili­tan) had pro­posed the amend­ment to the Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Act 2010 so that poach­ers will be pros­e­cuted to the full ex­tent of the law.

“It will pro­vide harsher pun­ish­ment, while a min­i­mum pe­riod of im­pris­on­ment will be in­tro­duced.”

He urged the au­thor­i­ties to be proac­tive in their ef­forts to curb the sale and pur­chase of en­dan­gered an­i­mals through ef­fec­tive na­tional and in­ter­na­tional leg­is­la­tion and en­force­ment, in­clud­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the lat­est tech­nol­ogy.

“I hope that the en­force­ment agen­cies can strengthen their co­op­er­a­tion to crip­ple poach­ing syn­di­cates.

“The agen­cies in­volved must use the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing drones, re­mote sens­ing and cam­era trap­ping.

“Greater pub­lic aware­ness, bet­ter law en­force­ment and stronger po­lit­i­cal will are needed to not only pre­vent il­le­gal wildlife trade but also to avoid over-ex­ploita­tion of nat­u­ral re­sources.”

Lee, how­ever, stressed that pro­tect­ing the wildlife was not the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the en­force­ment agen­cies alone but re­quired col­lab­o­ra­tion from var­i­ous par­ties, in­clud­ing non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, the gov­ern­ment, cor­po­rate stake­hold­ers and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“An­i­mal cru­elty must not be tol­er­ated and we need to care for all them as they also have the right to live and share this planet.”

He urged Malaysians to play an ac­tive role by re­port­ing wildlif­er­e­lated crimes to the Per­hili­tan hot­line at 1-800-88-5151 (of­fice hours) or the 24-hour Wildlife Crime Hot­line at 0193564194.

The New Straits Times re­ported on Fri­day that a group of Viet­namese poach­ers who were de­tained in Kuala Lipis on July 4 were found to have been gain­ing lu­cra­tive re­turns by har­vest­ing wildlife parts.

Wildlife parts, in­clud­ing bear teeth and claws, python skins, a serow’s tail, wild boar tooth, as well as parts of tigers and clouded leop­ards were seized from the premises where the poach­ers were found.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye

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